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The Calder Game (Chasing Vermeer, #3)
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The Calder Game

(Chasing Vermeer #3)

3.87  ·  Rating details ·  5,829 ratings  ·  498 reviews
Petra, Calder, and Tommy, the sleuths at the center of the amazing CHASING VERMEER and THE WRIGHT 3, are back with a labyrinthine new mystery to solve.

When Calder Pillay travels with his father to a remote village in England, he finds a mix of mazes and mystery . . . including an unexpected Alexander Calder sculpture in the town square. Calder is strangely drawn to the scu
Hardcover, 379 pages
Published May 1st 2008 by Scholastic Press
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Andrew McLaughlin I've been trying to figure this out for a bit, too, and it turns out the answer is FREE ART WISH. A lot of thinking to get, but worth it when you do!

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3.87  · 
Rating details
 ·  5,829 ratings  ·  498 reviews

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May 29, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: kid-s-books
Having worked at an arts magnet school for the past three years, I struggled to find ways to incorporate art into my student's day while still meeting all of my core content responsibilities. This and the other two Balliett books solved my problem. Every time I put the bookmark in and said, "I think we'll stop there for today." They would groan and say "one more chapter!" We made Calder mobiles the last week of school and it was amazing to me how well my little 4th graders incorporated Calder st ...more
Monica Edinger
Feb 23, 2008 rated it liked it
Shelves: finished-reading
Third in Balliett's series involving three smart kids, an artist, and a mystery. This one features the artist Alexander Calder and takes place largely in Oxford, England.

Calder is an artist made for kids to appreciate and Balliett does a super job intriguing her intended audience. As with her previous books she engagingly provides puzzles and such to entice them to go off and find out even more about this marvelous artist. Her love of art and artists is clear yet, as in her earlier books, she c
Feb 10, 2010 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-childrens
I liked the intent of this book: to get kids excited about art and ideas. It inspired me to make a mobile - a piece of art in motion, never exactly the same thing twice -- like people do in this book. I like the idea that art can be for anyone, not just those rich enough to collect it.

However, the characters and plot seemed a bit lame to me. I never really cared about the characters very much; they were too two-dimensional. Granted, if I had read the previous two books of the series, I might ca
Rashika (is tired)
Actual Rating 3.5

I believe this is the first time in a couple of years that I read a middle grade book. The only reason I even picked it up was because I had read the first two books in the series in middle school and adored them. So I set out to complete the series.

It was such an interesting experience because middle grade is so different from YA and Adult and it was just so refreshing.

But with that said it’s pretty hard to say anything about this book because I have no idea how I feel about it
Gwen the Librarian
Mar 14, 2008 rated it really liked it
Shelves: kidlit, mystery
I vaguely remember not being all that thrilled with Balliett's second book, The Wright 3, but The Calder Game is delightfully full of mystery and suspense, incorporating her familiar themes of art, language, and numbers. I love how Balliett introduces artists and thier work to young readers. I get excited about whomever she's writing about, so hopefully the kids will too.

Balliett takes the action to England, where Calder and his dad are traveling on a business trip. With Calder out of the threes
Oct 08, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I personally think it is the best book in the series.
Warren Truitt
Feb 21, 2008 rated it liked it
Shelves: chapterbooks
An OK mystery. The text was a little too repetitive and the "clues" fell too neatly into place. Having said that, I think lots of kids would like this third whodunnit from Balliett.
Tanya Stone
Feb 19, 2013 rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: No one
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Aug 10, 2008 rated it liked it
Shelves: juv, mystery
Mystery chapter book
For ages 9 and up

When Calder goes missing on a trip to England, his friends Petra and Tommy become involved in the search for what happened to him - and a missing Alexander Calder sculpture.

This is the third installment in Balliett's series of art-related mysteries. Illustrations by Brett Helquist not only compliment the story but also contain a mystery of their own. The story has a great sense of atmosphere and does a wonderful job of describing real and imaginary art, which
Jun 06, 2008 rated it it was ok
Shelves: readin2008
this book suffered from all of the short-comings of her first two. all three books are ridiculously heavy-handed with the symbolism and "coincidences," and the "codes" and patterns she devises are kind of lame, especially in this book. also, all three books parrot her own personal opinions about the state of "art." oh, you like vermeer, calder, and bansky (and we learn late in this book--baaaaarf--o'keefe)? that's nice. also, she thinks all art should be free all the time (admirable enough, sure ...more
Cameron Martinez
Oct 28, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Calder Game is a good mystery book for any person age 10 or up, if you are under 10, you will probably not know what the book or settings are about. Blue Balliett does a good job at placing historical facts in a suspense.Some great parts are learning who some famous artists and learning about math tools. There is only one bad part, and that is the boring parts that lead up t the suspense. I think any kid above 10 who has a taste for suspense will enjoy this book. this book reminds me when I ...more
Genevieve Trainor
May 31, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Anyone with a fondness for YA Lit
Shelves: favorites
I am a big enough dork that I picked this up partly because of Brett Helquist's illustrations, but mainly because of my own obsession with Alexander Calder. What I discovered was an homage to his work, crafted intricately, with humor, poise, and a wee bit of art education thrown in. I need to find more books by Balliett - it would seem that this is part of a series? References are made to other adventures (generic, not specific) had by the main characters, so I assume said adventures have been c ...more
Joy Gerbode
Jun 28, 2015 rated it really liked it
These books are a lot of fun ... mystery, puzzles, and kids having fun ... all while learning about art. This one also gave us a glimpse into life in England, and was fun, especially since I was there last year. I enjoyed this story, this puzzle very much ...
Dec 08, 2011 rated it really liked it
My favorite of the series. In The Calder Game, Balliett seems to finally understand how to subtly deploy elements of the unknown without clogging the storyline with shadowy caped figures and sentient gusts of wind. Recommend for YA and mystery readers.
Oct 16, 2009 is currently reading it
i am currently reading this book pretty gud book i actually really like the beggining thats where i am rite now the way it is written is really nice the first chapter is like 2 pgs and its like u understood everything they said but u didnt
Oct 10, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I think this book is a great finale to this series. It is suspenseful and very exciting. The characters and plot are all very easy to follow and understand as well. I definitely recommend this book!
A nice enough read. It wouldn't shake the world or anything.
Sep 25, 2016 rated it liked it
I remember really enjoying the first two books (well, Chasing Vermeer at least, I don't remember much about Wright 3) when I was a kid, but I don't know if maybe the series just doesn't age well for adults. I did enjoy some aspects:

- the sense of suspense and mystery
- some of the mobile stuff
- the overall plot direction
- the tie-in with art (once again)
- Mrs. Sharpe

but a lot of other things took away from my enjoyment as well:

- the "England is just so weird and different and insular" thing was
Rebecca (ofliterarynature)
Normally if I'm binge-reading a series I wait until I've read them all to write a review, but I have to say something before the end!

The first book was incredibly quirky and clever and intelligent. I really enjoyed it! But my main complaint was that the pattern of coincidences they put together to solve the mystery absolutely would not hold up in the real world - it was unrealistic.

Well, by now in the third book, there's some vague muttering about patterns, a lot of chatter about 'art', and mo
Sep 03, 2018 rated it it was ok
Authors can't hit it out of the ballpark each time, but this is a swing and a miss. Or maybe I should say a mess. Too much of the story/back-story is told to us- it felt like I was being lectured to. Balliett always had a tendency to do this, but it has become excessive in this book. Maybe she is so popular that editors can't point out the flaws. Only recommended for those that loved the earlier books and want to follow the characters, irrespective of the opacity of the writing. Didn't really li ...more
Lisa Simmons
Jan 20, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: audio-books
This book was a trudge. Admittedly I did myself no favors by dragging out experience by listening on CD over long period. I'm also aware I missed out on book illustrations that would likely enhance my reading experience. I like idea of bringing world famous artist to life with middle schoolers as main characters who are smart, clever but not precious or precocious. (I liked the three main characters a lot in Chasing Vermeer). So not terrible but this story didn't flow for me.
Melissa Namba
Mar 25, 2017 rated it really liked it
a very intriguing book. I probably should have started with book one in the series but oh well. calder is a likeable character and, sadly, he disappears halfway through the book. I love the idea is using pentominos as a tool and a toy and a clue. I think my nieces will enjoy this. there is a little remain between Calder's two friends, which I appreciate, because you do have those type of relationships in friend groups.
Gregg Cosgrove
Dec 21, 2018 rated it liked it
I can see why adults would like their kids to like this book. I want to like it more than I do, to be honest. It has clever ideas, some art history, a reason to introduce artists to your kids... but the plot? Well, it kind of suffers while all of these other things happen. I’m going to go back to the first book, about Vermeer, and see if that is the issue: the lack of character development. Am I supposed to already know this? Anyway, maybe you’ll like it more than me.
Not  Important
Dec 13, 2016 rated it liked it
All I can say is WHAT A BOOK!!! I took notes trying to figure out this amazing art-themed mystery that had knots so tight that no one could unravel them. I could NOT put this book down once I started it, and it was one of the best books EVER!!!
Mar 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I really enjoyed reading this book. It had a lot of suspense and adventure. The main character, Calder Pillay, goes to england with his dad who is sent there to work at oxford college and sees a sculpture by his favorite artist. Later in the book the sculpture gets stolen and Calder goes missing.
Sep 25, 2018 rated it liked it
I loved the puzzles, the story, and the ideas behind this book. Very clever. Overall, it just didn’t read well to me. Didn’t flow or engage me like other books. The characters not developed as much as I would have liked. A good book, but not great.
Mrs. Galway
Jan 28, 2018 rated it liked it
Calder travels to London with his father to the town of Woodstock. The community is upset over a new Minotaur sculpture. Soon, however, both the sculpture and Calder go missing. Good read for 6th graders, but a long read. Themes include acceptance and teamwork.
Shannon Peterson
May 01, 2018 rated it liked it
The book was interesting, but I did not like it as much as the others in the series. Calder is not in much of the book, and there just wasn't a whole lot going on.
Ur mom
Feb 22, 2019 rated it did not like it
Shelves: sad
Linda Redding
May 03, 2018 rated it liked it
Yes, I'd recommend this to my very bright granddaughter!
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I was born in New York City and grew up playing in Central Park, getting my share of scraped knees, and riding many public buses and subways. By the time I was a teenager, I sometimes stopped at the Metropolitan Museum of Art or the Frick Museum after school, just to wander and look and think. The Met has five Vermeer paintings and the Frick three, so Vermeer and I have been friends for many years ...more

Other books in the series

Chasing Vermeer (4 books)
  • Chasing Vermeer (Chasing Vermeer, #1)
  • The Wright 3 (Chasing Vermeer, #2)
  • Pieces and Players (Chasing Vermeer, #4)
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